Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Marquis of Cabinets

I have mentioned the Australian company Marquis before - I have a Marquis blue and white kitchen set in my Italian Villa style house:

Amazingly, a boxed set of this furniture has just sold on Australian ebay. I'm not the new owner, as I was outbid - I did win two other boxed sets of Australian-made dolls house furniture, which I'll show when they arrive. However, the seller very kindly said that I could save her photos of the set. Amazingly too, the seller said that these sets had come from the original owner, who played with them very carefully when she was young, and was now letting her grandchildren play with them!

According to the lid, the Marquis Little Homemaker Modern Plastic Kitchens in Miniature are Educational, Washable and Durable.

The side of the box shows the company name and address:

Commonwealth Moulding Pty. Ltd. Arncliffe Sydney Australia

I wish all boxes were as informative!

Inside, the table and chairs, sink, stove, fridge, and three cupboards - one with straight sides and two with open, rounded-end shelves - are all in their original slots in the cardboard:

And look at the sides of the box - there are pictures! The inside of the box and the inside of the lid are both printed with images of the walls of a modern kitchen, showing two windows, a door, a clock, 11 cupboards attached to the wall (plenty of storage in this kitchen!), and tiling below that.

So the room which is pictured on top of the lid can be made out of the box!

I know that Marquis also made bathroom furniture for dolls houses - I have some green pieces, and have also seen a pale blue set. Now I'm wondering if they also came in a box which could be used as a room - and what other sets Marquis made.

I have heard or read that the Marquis dolls house furniture was made using the same moulds as the American-made Plasco furniture. Does anyone know if Plasco also sold their furniture in boxes which could function as rooms in a dolls house?

UPDATE: Thank you, Louise! Louise of Grandmas Attic - Toys and Treasures has posted scans of boxed Plasco sets from Dian Zillner's book American Dollhouses and Furniture from the 20th Century. Plasco boxes did indeed form a corner of a room - Zillner's book pictures a living room, bathroom and bedroom. Also shown are boxes with a cellophane window in the lid, which don't seem to have had the images printed inside. Perhaps these replaced the ones with cardboard lids? perhaps when Plasco started making dolls houses as well? I wonder if Marquis followed Plasco in changing the packaging - I've never heard of a Marquis house, though.
Louise also has a wonderful pink and grey Plasco bathroom (in cellophane window box) for sale.


  1. wonderful furniture - especially seeing it in its original box - so, sadly you are not the new owner but I think even only having the photos is exciting for the true dolls-houses-researching-mind...

  2. Yes! we are kindred spirits in finding photos of boxes exciting! Luckily the seller posted lots, and good clear ones too. And at least I already have this furniture. I'm sorry not to have the box - but the two sets I won are completely new to me - the companies, and the type of furniture/accessories. Can't wait to find out more about them!

  3. Beautiful, I love the curved shelves! And so great to get all that background information and wonderful photos! But I agree with diepuppenstubensammlerin, sometimes I think it's enough just to have the photos of things instead of the real thing. Takes up much less space as well :-)

  4. Very true! Much less space, but as well as being only two dimensional, it's single-sensory - no old cardboard feel or smell. But I'll no doubt get that with the other sets :-)

  5. It is the knowing that really counts. Seeing it in situ as it should be is so exciting. Owning it is secondary to the knowledge. That is why we call you the Rosetta stone, Rebecca. You fit all the pieces together. Cool photos. CM

  6. Hi made me go pull out my American Dollhouses and Furniture 20th Century book by Dian Zillner. I have the Plasco house and all its furniture so I wasn't too concerned about the walls that came with the boxes. Plasco furniture did come boxed with the top and bottom that formed the "corner" of the room. I will post a few scans on my site for you to enjoy from this book. I presently have a complete bathroom, boxed WITH a 45 rpm record for sale in my booth at the antique mall if anyone is interested. I didn't check the box for interior scenes so I'll have to do that! It is the same bathroom like I'm posting--the pink with grey marbled toilet seat! Go to to see the Plasco posting--give me a few days. I love seeing the Australian version! Wow...did they also make a dollhouse? I will try to post a picture of my dollhouse for you to see. Thanks for sharing. Fondly, Louise

  7. Thank you, CM! Can't take any credit for the photos, though!

    Thank you, Louise! I've posted an update with links to your blog (not everyone reads the comments all the time). I love the pink and grey bathroom! I have a turquoise Plasco bathroom, though not the wonderful rounded vanity. I don't know of a dolls house made by Marquis - I suspect they didn't make one, but who knows? One may appear some day!

  8. and I think it's nice to see how great your vintage plastic furniture looks in an older vintage house!
    Plasco and Ideal made authentic looking plastic furniture for the American market, and Renwal followed suit with their specialty pieces of cardtables with folding chairs, fold-away sofabeds, radios and sewing machines.
    There is a dollhouse club "formed primarily for the fun hobby of collecting genuine hard plastic dollhouse furniture from the 40s-50s" but they have lately expanded to include the 30s-70s. Website at, dues $8 annually...can't log on...wonder if I owe dues....they are having a convention in Minnesota this weekend.
    Great post, Rebecca! I need to start surfing Australian eBay.... :)